Getting ready for new years resolutions

Taking small steps to build healthy habits and productive patterns

  • NPE

After the holiday gatherings, big meals and cleaning up all the wrapping paper, we start to think about the January 1 and how we should start the new year right and we make resolutions to have a more productive year. I think the intentions are right but a lot of people try to go from zero to hundred between December 31 and January 1. I think it's more realistic to think of new year resolutions as small steps to building lasting habits and patterns of living.

Habits and patterns take time to develop so it's important to think of the steps and milestones that get you from never doing something/hardly doing something to always doing something. I like to start with the goal/outcome I want to achieve and then work backwards and think of the steps it will take to get to that goal. I'll use an actual goal I have for 2023 which is to have an online store generating mostly passive income. I definitely don't expect to have a profitable business on January 1, I don't even think it will be February 1 or March 1. I think it will take a long time to build a business and get it to the point where it's profitable. So with that goal, I start to think of the steps (which I also assume will change and/or will be wrong) that will be required. So there's things like picking a platform to host my business, picking the products I want to offer, customizing the site, setting up social media accounts, configuring billing/shipping/taxes and then finally being able to launch the business. And while I hope that I'll be making a profit as soon as I launch, the reality is that I then to start focusing on marketing and finding customers. With this rough set of steps I need to go through, I then start to think of how to sequence them and setup milestones so I can keep myself accountable.

In order to setup a schedule I need to take into account how difficult and time-consuming the task will be and how busy I'll be with other things. And for me personally, once I have rough estimate, I give myself an extra week or two because I tend to underestimate things and assume I'll have more free time (and motivation) than I actually do. And with my rough schedule, I tell myself that it's not written in stone and there's no shame in pushing things back or changing the schedule. But I do want to hold myself accountable to making progress and getting closer to my ultimate goal. And finally I can think about step one and keeping myself motivated.

Motivation is a really important part of keeping on track and making progress. For me, I need to see something done and feel like I completed something. So while for some people, thinking about the problem or figuring out how to do something might be enough but for me, I need to translate that into something and solve the problem or make something to show the outcome of all the thinking. This is different for everyone and it will take a while to figure out what type of things help keep you motivated, it's important to acknowledge that if you don't get these wins often enough, you will most likely lose motivation and possibly give up. So if you want to turn your resolution into a long-term habit, you'll need to keep yourself motivated.

So hopefully I've given you enough things to consider as you start to think about your new year resolutions. Good luck and can't wait to hear about what you're able to achieve in 2023. Happy New Year!

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